Becky Kuhn, M.D., describes the symptoms of AIDS. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the symptoms include: * "rapid weight loss" * "dry cough" * "recurring fever or profuse night sweats" * "profound and unexplained fatigue" * "swollen lymph glands in the armpits, groin, or neck" * "diarrhea that lasts for more than a week" * "white spots or unusual blemishes on the tongue, in the mouth, or in the throat" * "pneumonia" * "red, brown, pink, or purplish blotches on or under the skin or inside the mouth, nose, or eyelids" * "memory loss, depression, and other neurological disorders"
If you have one or more of these symptoms, does it necessarily mean you are infected with HIV or have developed AIDS? No. Many common diseases can cause one or more of these symptoms. For example, most people with a fever or sore throat are probably just experiencing common illnesses such as the cold, influenza, or mononucleosis. A person is only diagnosed if they are confirmed HIV+ and also either have a CD4 count under 200 or have an opportunistic infection that is indicative of a weakened immune system. So don't panic. But if you have any of these symptoms and think theres even the slightest chance you might ever have been exposed to HIV, you should see a doctor and ask to be tested for HIV. Remember, the CDC recommends that all adults be tested for HIV regardless of whether they believe they have any risk factors or exposure to HIV and regardless of whether they have any symptoms of HIV/AIDS. Get tested!
[Source: "How can I tell if I'm infected with HIV? What are the symptoms?" United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed 21 June 2008. Last updated 22 January 2007.]